“Alabang Boys” and the Boys and Men Among Us

Will I still watch the evening news or not? Will you, when news about desert-man1Philippine politics is getting more sickening even at the threshold of a new year? Is it really worth our time and attention when apparently, the name of the game in the justice system is pakapalan ng mukha, and no bigwig is being put behind bars for drug-wreaking so many souls? Whatever happen to personal conscience when even those “guilty” can equally fabricate logical lies and emerge out from a querying body scratch-free, at least from legal punishment? I argue that Gloria’s cheating last election has a chain effect, wreaking effect, on leadership integrity in this country. If the Prez can lie, why can’t Undersecretaries?

The other equally appalling part, from a personal bias, is men all the time dominate those supposedly infernal tests that often turn into pajama parties to our dismay. Men, gray-haired men at the prime of their life and career now haunted by the very god they have been chasing and worshipping – the love of money. Men who are full of potentials but seem oblivious that at the fork of life and career is one deeper call with many names – wholeness, authenticity, spirituality, holiness, simplicity. They are more abstract than a Picasso painting, or invisible as the roots of trees. But they are the very foundation of a sturdy, life–giving political community. Gather all the megalomaniacs and let them lead this country and we’ll see the kind of fruits we will reap. We are already reaping rotten fruits!

I am not stain-free myself and a number of times I did fall. A number of times, I had reached out for the Light. That’s why I need Jesus. And fellowmen bold enough to ask what it means being men – career men, family men, celibate men, vulnerable men, or men of God. You know the beauty of a man’s soul if it touches yours. And you love being around them. Or simply miss having a good chat over a cup of coffee with them because they make simple, unconditional loving their life’s project.

From among the many, in my case, is an old friend I haven’t met for a long time and is now pastoring in Virginia. Bot, gifted with an incisive mind, an OT professor at Baptist seminary in Baguio is one I dearly miss these days. Our friendship dates back in 1997 when we were clinical students at Makati Med. As my classmate, my life has been an open book to him and his calm demeanor was so endearing to my fidgety spirit that time enthroning him as an older brother was as instinctive as a bee that snoops a nectar. He is the ear that listens, the mind that questions, and the heart that embraces. Bot, I could have lionized you much longer than this. You were those early affirmers of my gift to think and write, while modelling yourself for us in many excellent ways. But it is enough for me to say, and I am happy to say it that I have looked up to you as one model of what it means to journey as a man towards wholeness. I miss you, Brother!

To my readers, if you are blessed with a few good men, spread the word most importantly by imitating their courage and humility. They are flickering examples for this generation of lost men, of souls that need re-engineering.

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Photo credit: Ehsan Khakbaz

5 thoughts on ““Alabang Boys” and the Boys and Men Among Us

  1. “…this generation of lost men, of souls that need re-engineering.” — Well-said … and I agree.

    So what’s wrong? It’s not just the leadership nor politicians, not just them. It’s us as a people. We allow these things to happen so then we simply get what we deserve. Before we point the finger at others, let’s stop and look at ourselves — have we been consistent in our cause for a good and clean government and of voting for the right people into its service, of a people who cast aside religious differences and quarrels, of living good clean upright lives for our children to emulate, of fearlessly defending right from wrong, and of walking our talk?

    Let’s do our bit where we are with who or what we are to get ourselves a better life and better leaders to lead the country.

    To our kabayans, let’s…

    -Get rid of the political jerks through the ballot; don’t sell your vote. DON’T!
    -Get rid of corruption in government agencies by revealing such acts right there when you can.
    -Write to your senators and congressmen about an issue that bothers you or you believe needs to be addressed. WRITE!
    -Get rid of trash in your backyard and in the environment. Love mother earth.
    -Speak your mind against evil and wrongdoing; talk, sing, or write about it and to a greater number of people in real time or on the internet. Be loud!

    And by golly, let’s be consistent please. Because our greatest fault is that our fire does not have staying power – it falls to a whimper in the end.

    And Forgiveness — it’s a wonderful virtue but if these jerks ‘sin’ again and again .. maybe it’s time to start kicking butts. After all we are trying to build up a country that’s languishing in misery. And don’t forget we are paying their salaries… off the taxes we pay. We’re the boss, they are public servants. Oh by the way, pay the correct taxes due and properly too.

    There’s lots more to do, we all know that. Maybe others could add or put in their ideas to this. It’s a job that requires every country-loving Filipino’s brains and guts.

    God bless everyone.
    God bless you for putting up this post.

  2. Thanks Ellen, for your candid assessment and alternatives for a better government and leadership in our midst. Exactly, change can always begin from within, by being educated and being bold about issues that really matter. This is a confusing time in our country when our voice as a people seem stifled by the normalcy of scandals. Nothing earth-shaking a voice of protest, only murmurs in the living rooms.And the rest – undecipherable tsk,tsk,tsk.

  3. ang ganda ng entry mo nito kapatid. Ngayon lang ako nakabasa ng reflection about men at the same time there is a tinge of politics in it.

    True enough that men today are getting worst. The false connotation of “man” is being abused simply by correlating it to machismo, womanizing, gambling, pwer, fame, fortune, promiscuity.

    when all that it is to it is an uncomplicated word that is often times deducted to the word “man’ — Gentle.

    yes, where are the gentlemen now? Sometimes I wish we were still in the era of the 50 to the 80s were men are made of truth and conscience.

    ngayon? kahit hukluban na ang mga lalaki, at ilang oras na lang ang ilalagi sa lupa, puro kamunduhan pa rin ang lam — lies, lies, and lies.

    some may say I am betraying my own kind, but im not because true men are those who fight for what is right. upholding the truth. kesehoda anak ka pa ni congress man o presidente ka ng pilipinas.

    Men are created and given the title of such because they embody responsibility, strength of will and conviction. ever wonder why God did not became flesh and blood as a woman, not for any discrimination, but for the fact that man symbolize integrity. asan na?

    kaya di ako nanonood ng balita kasi ang sarap ibato ng monitor lalo na sa mga “man” na astang lalaki at siga eh mga baluktot naman ang prinsipyo sa buhay.

    real men are always anchored on truth. Boys always lie. thats the difference between the two.

  4. You’ve got a gem here, kapatid. usually, kapag politics, hindi ako nakakarating sa gitnang bahagi ng post, tapos iiwan ko na . ito, binasa ko ng buo. one of the better posts; gandang opening for the year!

    many things has been said about what separates the boys from men. I even remember Kipling’s If on this one. I guess, my two cents here is this:
    we can be boys on things that righfully warrants our boyhood experiences: games, humor, friends, adventure, travel, what-have-you… just be sure to be a man for the rest of the things in life. enjoying the best of two worlds always requires a lot of wisdom and prudence in between.

    God bless!

    Uy kapatid, salamat sa paglaan ng oras basahin lang tong post na to. masyado lang ako na-impluwensya ng MSC at ni Fr. Rudy Abao hehe kaya nagri-ring minsan ang political bells ko. i like how you bring in some positive nuances of being boys. tama ka, kelangan din natin ang pagiging boys at the most proper time – maglaro, magtampisaw sa ulan, mamangha sa ningning ng mga bituin…

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